Samuel stole the show with a series of impressive runs, totaling 108 yards on five carries, two of which went for touchdowns, and adding another 70-yard reception for a score.
"He ran the ball well,” Richt said. “He definitely had more space to work with than any other back, but he broke some tackles also. He finished strong."
Samuel saw minimal playing time in a backup role a season ago, showing flashing of potential but had trouble picking up extra yards downfield at times.
While Richt said Samuel benefited from some big holes at the line of scrimmage Wednesday, a great deal of his production came on moves the sophomore made in the open field, including a few impressive maneuvers on a 63-yard touchdown dash.
"We were running off of the right side of the line and it kind of got congested,” Richt said. “He broke it back across the grain and got vertical. He either made a safety miss or stiff-armed him and then made the last guy miss."
Samuel had the majority of the carries with Georgia’s No. 1 offense, Richt said, while his primary competition for the starting tailback job, Caleb King, split time between the first- and second-team offense. King finished the day with just 18 yards on five carries.
Georgia’s other running backs met with mixed results as well. Carlton Thomas tallied 60 yards on five carries, including a long run of 28 yards, while Dontavius Jackson ran four times and lost six yards. Freshman Washaun Ealey added just 13 yards on five carries, but Richt cautioned fans not to read too much into the final statistics.
"You can get a pretty good gauge of who ran with the No. 1 offensive line and who ran with the No. 2s," he said.